Thoughts From My Covid Wilderness 2.0
In Romans 3, especially verse 23, we are reminded that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. All of us. Not one person can live without sin. We break relationship, act up and act out, so we must acknowledge that there are different sides to our “self,” and they often struggle for dominance in our behavior. In a perfect world, this truth should soften the heart of every Christian believer toward the faults of others. Because we miss the mark, we should be able to give each other slack, and lots of it. This is clearly not the case. Instead, we are much better at recognizing and judging sin in another and where they miss the mark. Rarely do we turn the harsh glare of scrutiny on ourselves.
If you do not believe me, look at the current phenomenon of Cancel culture. Cancel culture or call-out culture is a modern form of ostracism in which someone is thrust out of social or professional circles—whether it be online, on social media, or in person—those who are subject to this ostracism are determined to be “cancelled.” Now do not get me wrong; there are behaviors that people engage in that are so offensive, so egregious that their “cancelling” or “firing” or whatever consequence comes with it, is completely justified. But not every behavior that has been called out rises to the level of cancelling a person, and people can evolve into better people. Can we allow for that in this day and age? Also, where is the redemption? There seems to be no interest in redemption.
Truth be told, I have my best side. The side that can be incredibly open, generous, forgiving, loving, and non-judgmental. I like this side of myself. But I also have a bad side. This is the side that is on full display when I am frustrated or tired. This side is quick to scorn or reject. This side is full of snap judgments and snide commentary. I do not care for this side of myself, and I spend more time regretting the moments when this side gets the best of me than I care to admit. If someone I didn’t know caught me in one of my bad moments, they could judge me poorly and they would be correct…in that moment…but it is a moment. My bad side is not my only side. This is true of every one of us, but as Christians, we are supposed to care about redemption. We are supposed to care about reconciliation and be agents in it. Are we too busy calling out our neighbor to love our neighbor? It is worth our while to consider.
This is a strange and complicated time we live in. As a Christian, I literally thank God that I receive redemption and reconciliation and forgiveness and grace for all the times my “bad side” wins out. I may not receive that at the hands of another broken human, but I do receive it from my Lord and Savior, and so do you, brothers and sisters. So do you.